Bullets can't hold off Heat, Reeves, 101-97


LANDOVER -- No matter what it takes, the Washington Bullets are capable of what it takes to lose.

Last night it was an unheralded (until recently) rookie who did them in. Khalid Reeves took control in the final minutes, and the Miami Heat beat the Bullets, 101-97, at USAir Arena.

"I just stepped up," said the first-year point guard from Arizona. "I decided to take over the game. This is a big, big win."

The victory improved coach Alvin Gentry's record to 11-14 since taking over for Kevin Loughery.

The win broke a two-game losing streak after a season-best three-game winning streak for the Heat. It was the fifth straight loss for the Bullets (18-51).

Playing because of an injury to starter Billy Owens, Reeves scored 11 straight points in the final 2:26 to enable the Heat to beat the Bullets for the fourth straight time. In his previous game, Reeves scored a career-high 24 points and had 10 assists in a win over the Boston Celtics.

Reeves had only 15 points last night, but his late outburst offset four earlier turnovers in a sloppy fourth quarter.

Before Reeves took over, Glen Rice kept Miami close enough to be in position to win. Rice, whose 26 points topped a list of six Heat players to score in double figures, had 15 in the third quarter.

"The key was the way Rook [Reeves] stepped up," said Rice. "He gave us the lift we needed. If we can get that kind of game from him like that, we'll be all right."

Chris Webber, the game's high scorer with 29, had 13 during Rice's hot stretch, preventing the visitors from taking over earlier than they did. Calbert Cheaney had 23 points for the Bullets, but converted only eight of 24 attempts.

"I stopped shooting the ball, I wasn't as aggressive in the second half," said Cheaney, who hit only one of nine shots in the last 24 minutes.

The Bullets disintegrated in the fourth quarter, when they scored just 17 points. They hit only seven of 19 shots (36.8 percent) and committed six turnovers.

"I think we got away from our success at the beginning," said Webber. "We just missed a lot of easy, inside shots. We didn't execute as well as we could have, and when we did, we didn't make the shots."

In the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter, the teams combined to miss 16 of 23 shots. After the Heat moved to an 85-82 lead, the Bullets went on a modest run that put them back in front, 89-87, after a three-pointer by Rex Chapman.

Miami's Keith Askins hit his only field goal of the night to tie it, and after Gheorghe Muresan's turnaround gave the Bullets their last lead, 91-89, Reeves went on his spurt.

NOTES: The Bullets played without F Juwan Howard for the fifth straight game and G Scott Skiles for the seventh. . . . C Kevin Duckworth will have surgery this morning on his left Achilles' tendon to remove calcium deposits. . . . The Bullets' extended family grew yesterday with the birth of Miles Randall Overton. The son of Bullets guard Doug and wife Chanel checked in at 12:47 p.m. at 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

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